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07/27/2011

NY anti-equality team's Liberty Counsel alliance: Daft choice that will aid our Prop 8 case

by Jeremy Hooper

Some background:

  • The anti-gay yet somewhat pragmatic Alliance Defense Fund represents the Prop 8 proponents in court.
  • The same Alliance Defense Fund got into the game early on in the NY clerk situation, issuing a memo instructing religious clerks that they have a right to deny civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples
  • The New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms group touted this memo, using it as a basis to launch their own effort (called the "Courage Fund") in defense of these religious clerks.
  • The National Organization For Marriage is also highly involved in the Prop 8 fight, having been one of the groups most active in that flawed ballot initiative's passage and remaining the group most obsessed with its defense.

Okay, so one would probably think that when this NYCF group decided to go to court for the goal of eliminating New York's same-sex marriages, they would have used the Alliance Defense Fund. Because as just mentioned, the ADF has been all over the Prop 8 fight. Plus ADF also retains solid conservative credentials (despite still saying heinous things about gay people), even getting former President Bush to speak at an organizational fundraiser. Since they are the "mainstream" anti-equality legal group, I've just come to accept the fact that when we go to court, it's going to be ADF on the other side. This is especially true, considering the ADF is now at the forefront of the key marriage battle in the American judicial system.

But get this: This NY lobby group, working alongside Rabbi Nathaniel S. Leiter, has opted to NOT use the ADF for its lawsuit, instead choosing the EXTREEEEEMELY far-right Liberty Counsel (the beyond-incendiary Matt Barber's employer) to marshal this matter. The very same Liberty Counsel that, in the days following Judge Vaughn Walker's Aug. '09 ruling, chastised the Alliance Defense Fund for, among other things, not pushing reparative therapy into the Prop 8 courtroom. Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver even said, point blank, that he wanted to see a defense that directly addressed what he sees as the negative aspects of homosexuality. In short: The Liberty Counsel wanted to push anti-gay animus into the courtroom -- the very thing that was found to have motivated Prop 8! The very same animus that groups like NOM so staunchly deny, since they know it's proven existence is what will ultimately kill Prop 8 and every other marriage ban on the books.

But why was the Liberty Counsel so sore with ADF, in particular? Oh, well: Because the Alliance Defense Fund is the very group that shut Liberty Counsel out of the Prop 8 proceedings! The Liberty Counsel issued a press release saying so!

So now, here, almost a year to the date, we have NOM's major New York ally…

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…making a legal case alongside the group that was seen as too third-rail-like for Prop 8 defense?! They are now willfully connecting the dots for us? Seriously? because I've been trying to connect these same dots for a while now, and I'm more than happy to have the assist.

I swear, it's like these groups have a double agent political consultant working in their ranks!

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